Square breathing, what is that?
This method of breathing integrates patience and focus in a simple yet helpful way to center yourself when we need a sense of calm.
But how can there be different “techniques” of breathing?
Implementing mindfulness into your breathing pattern shifts our focus so we are thinking less of the stressor, and more about the breathing exercise at hand.
Square breathing can be a helpful technique for racing thoughts, panic attacks, anger outbursts, or even as a pre-sleep ritual.
How does it work?
- Start by closing your eyes and visualizing a square.
- You can use creativity here if focusing on the color of the square, size, or other factors help you concentrate.
- Each line on the square is 4 seconds.
- Start at the bottom and hold your breath for 4 seconds, visualizing the 4 seconds to be the length of the bottom of the square.
- Next, breathe in for 4 until you reach the top of the square.
- Hold for 4 more seconds, finishing with a 4 second exhale to reach the bottom.
Repeat this as many times as necessary or until you feel in a calm state that meets your needs.
Square breathing in therapy
Often when we are in a heightened state of emotion our heart rate increases.
Learning how to decrease heart rate helps us to be more in tune with our body and its needs.
When we implement tools like square breathing, we are taking control of our body and helping to identify how it is feeling in the moment.
Square breathing can be used during therapy sessions when we need to take time to regulate our bodies.
If you find yourself feeling the need to reduce stress during a difficult session, implement square breathing with your therapist as a part of or during the wind down.
What a simple yet great way to be in-tune with our bodies!